Nutrition Practicum/Dietetic Internship
Operations Director for Clinical Education:Jennifer Keenan617-358-0758
Clinical Assistant, Clinical Education & Community Affairs:Joan Gentile617-353-7526
You’ll gain two kinds of valuable professional experiences in the Sargent College DPD/MS + DI and MS+DI programs: a 150-hour nutrition practicum and a 29-week Dietetic Internship.
Boston University offers an outstanding variety of affiliations for your practicum and internship sites. Besides the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in professional settings, these experiences help many students clarify their career goals.
Practicum Nutrition: HS 811
HS811 is a three-credit course that is required for the Dietetic Internship, but optional for the MS only. In this experience, you you will spend a minimum of 150 hours working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or other health care professional. The affiliations are designed to provide practical, hands-on experiences in the profession of dietetics/nutrition—an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a variety of professional settings. The practicum is also an ideal opportunity to begin exploring the numerous career opportunities in nutrition.
Students in the past have spent their practicum in many different environments including education, public health, and research. These include:
- BU Sargent Choice Nutrition Center
- Boston Medical Center General Research Center
- Breastfeeding Center at Boston Medical Center
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital General Research Center
- DASH for Health
- Cambridge Health Alliance
- Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine Clinic
- Gold’s Gym
- Good Housekeeping Magazine
- Greater Boston Food Bank
- Jewish Family & Children’s Service
- Joslin Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham
- Massachusetts General Hospital General Research Center
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Massachusetts Department of Education
- Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Management Center
- Newton South High School
- Perkins School for the Blind
- Shriver Center
- USDA, Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts
- US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Nutrition Division
- UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program
Dietetic Internship: HS 703
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) at Boston University is a six-credit, 29-week, full-time program designed to provide you with critical thinking skills and prepare you for entry-level employment as an RDN. The clinical sites provide excellent opportunities to observe and participate in a wide variety of specialty practice areas including nutrition support, pediatrics, oncology, nephrology, cardiology, diabetes, surgical care, out-patient counseling, food service and management.
The DI begins in June or January following completion of the MS degree. This full-time course requires payment of tuition as well as a non-refundable $1000 fee to the internship site during the first two weeks. You may need a car to get to your DI site, as some sites are approximately 40 miles from Boston.
The program includes rotations in food service management, medical nutrition therapy across the lifespan, and nutrition practice in the community setting. Students observe and participate in a wide variety of specialty areas of practice such as pediatrics, oncology, renal, cardiology, diabetes, geriatrics, and nutrition support. We have a variety of dynamic clinical education sites located at:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Needham
- Boston Medical Center, Boston
- Good Samaritan Medical Center, Brockton
- Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton
- Lahey Clinic, Burlington
- Lowell General Hospital, Lowell
- St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Boston
- Emerson Hospital, Concord
- University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester
- Beverly Hospital, Beverly
Our DI is also associated with other area facilities for specialized rotations, such as:
- Children’s Hospital, Boston (pediatrics)
- Franciscan Children’s Hospital, Boston (pediatrics)
- University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester (pediatrics)
- Newton High School and Perkins School for Blind (pediatrics)
- DaVita Health Care (renal)
- Joslin Diabetes Center
- Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center (an outpatient clinic specializing in obesity, diabetes, cardiac care)
After successful completion of the DI, which includes documentation of the completion of dietetic competencies and the MS+DI program evaluation, you will receive the DI verification statement. At this time you will have met the competencies for the supervised practice component of entry-level dietitian education programs as mandated by ACEND.
The DI is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. Telephone: 312-899-0040 ext. 5400. For more information, please visit the ACEND website.
Dietetic Intern/Medical Student Match Program
The Dietetic Intern & Medical Student Match Program brings together Sargent College dietetic interns and Boston University School of Medicine students to practice nutrition counseling and teach medical students about the role dietitians play in patient care. Since fall 2010, at least 100 students have participated in the program.
The Dietetic Intern & Medical Student Match Program runs for four weeks each semester, typically in September and April. At the first meeting, dietetic interns are paired with BU medical students, to walk the medical students through a personal nutrition assessment, and help them set three realistic nutrition goals—such as improving portion sizes, the timing of meals, and the quality of food they eat.
The program offers a unique opportunity for medical students to gain a better understanding of the role a registered dietitian nutritionist plays in patient care, while dietetic interns provide valued advice and improve their counseling skills.
See the BU Today story for more details.
Note: Students who are admitted into Sargent College routinely participate in clinical education experiences as a part of the respective program curricula. Most clinical education facilities require criminal background checks to determine students’ eligibility for participation. History of a criminal background may disqualify students from participating in these experiences which are required for successful completion of the degree program.
Students may have to provide documentation of medical exams or immunizations before clinical education experiences.